The bottom line is clear: Our vital interests in Afghanistan are limited and military victory is not the key to achieving them. On the contrary, waging a lengthy counterinsurgency war in Afghanistan may well do more to aid Taliban recruiting than to dismantle the group, help spread conflict further into Pakistan, unify radical groups that might otherwise be quarreling amongst themselves, threaten the long-term health of the U.S. economy, and prevent the U.S. government from turning its full attention to other pressing problems. -- Afghanistan Study Group

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

War News for Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Nov. 17 airpower summary:

India: Pirate 'mother ship' left in flames: An Indian warship has exchanged fire with a pirate "mother vessel" off the hijacking-plagued Horn of Africa, leaving the ship ablaze in the Gulf of Aden, an official said Wednesday.

US, Iraq, Turkey hold Baghdad talks on PKK rebels:

Iraq govt: Saddam Hussein-era mass grave unearthed:

Three killed as Yemen forces clash with militants:

New Syrian troops deployed along borders with Lebanon:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: Five persons were wounded on Wednesday when an improvised explosive device went off in central Baghdad, a police source said. “The bomb was detonated near Sahet Uqba bin Nafeaa in central Baghdad, injuring five,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

Two roadside bombs detonated near the liquors’ shops at Uqba bin Nafia intersection in Karrada neighborhood. Five people were injured with some damages to two shops.

#2: The Iraqi army killed 3 suspected militants and detained 23 others in different parts of Iraq during the past 24 hours, the defense ministry said in a statement.

#3: Police found one dead body in Nasr neighborhood in Karkh bank in Baghdad today.

#1: Joint Iraqi-U.S. forces on Wednesday arrested an officer of the former Iraqi army and injured two of his relatives in north of Diwaniya, a police source said. “Joint Iraqi-U.S. forces raided at dawn the house of an office of the former Iraqi army in north of Diwaniya city,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq. “The forces arrested the officer and injured two of his relatives during a shootout,” he added. No word was immediately available from the U.S. army on the incident.

#1: Five al Qaida members were killed and one American-backed Sunni paramilitary member was injured in clashes that took place in Al-Milih area (about 18 miles northeast Samarra).

#2: A magnetic bomb detonated under a police officer's car in Samarra city. The officer was killed.

#1: Policemen on Wednesday found an unknown female body in north of Kirkuk, the chief of the local police said. “Police forces found a body of an unidentified woman in Siyosor region in Shiwan district, north of Kirkuk,” Brigadier Sarhad Qader told Aswat al-Iraq. “The body bore signs of five gunshot wounds,” he added.

#1: An Iraqi army soldier was injured on Wednesday in a roadside bomb explosion in western Mosul, a police source said. “An explosive charge went off targeting an Iraqi army vehicle patrol in 17 Tamouz neighborhood in western Mosul, injuring a soldier,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq, noting that the soldier was rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment.

#2: Two policemen were wounded on Wednesday in a suicide car bomb explosion in eastern Mosul, a police source said. “A suicide bomber blew up a car crammed with explosives targeting a police vehicle patrol in Kokegli region in eastern Mosul, injuring two policemen, who rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq. He did not give more details.

#1: A missile strike by a suspected US drone killed at least five people including foreigners in northwest Pakistan near the Afghan border, security officials said on Wednesday. The attack marked the first US missile strike outside of the rugged tribal regions which have become safe havens for militants linked to Taliban and Al-Qaeda, one Pakistani security official said. The house targeted was located in northwestern Bannu district, on the border of the tribal territory, he said. According to local officials, at least seven people were wounded.

#2: At least five Taliban militants were killed when Pakistani artillery pounded their hideouts through the night in a restive tribal region near the Afghanistan border, local administration official Mohammad Jamil told AFP. The clashes took place in the Mamoon and Nawagai areas in Bajaur tribal regions where the military launched the operation against Taliban and Al-Qaeda linked militants in August. "Troops fired artillery on militant hideouts and underground bunkers Tuesday night, killing five rebels and wounding three others," Jamil said.

#3: Three Czech soldiers were injured in the Afghan province Logar Tuesday when their vehicle drove over a home-made bomb, the Czech general staff told CTK. In the morning one of the American Humvees that was part of the Czech Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) convoy drove over an improvised explosive system and the front of the vehicle was damaged in the explosion. Three soldiers in the car suffered bruises and lacerations, Jana Ruzickova from the general staff said.

Casualty Reports:

Army Sgt. Chris Alvin was in the lead vehicle of a four-vehicle convoy when it was struck less than a half mile from the forward operating base. I didn't hear an explosion. Our vehicle was just crushed. We were hit by a triple charge; three different charges of an EFP [explosively formed penetrator]." Burrell added that the third charge is what took off his leg. "All of them were on my side of the vehicle, came in between the front wheel well and the doorframe where there's no armor at all," he said. ""It came in at an angle, and you could see from the pictures where it came through. It came through at an angle, it just took off my knee, and went directly straight up through the roof."

Army Staff Sgt. Ralph Franklin “Frankie” Steward Jr., 37, lost his right leg from the knee down, injured his left leg, shattered bones in both arms and suffered a bruised lung and damage to his right eye, according to his aunt, Carolyn Goins. on Nov. 9, Steward and two other Army soldiers from the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, were on patrol in Mullayah, northeast of Baghdad, when they entered a home containing a concealed explosive device that detonated.